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Investment Rules and the New Constitutionalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018


The new model for economic and political renovation mandates the entrenchment, beyond the reach of majoritarian control, of rules for the free movement of transnational capital. This “new constitutionalism” removes key aspects of economic life from the influence of domestic politics within nation states. A manifestation of this new orthodoxy is the network of bilateral investment treaties designed to ensure foreign investors security from “discrimination” and “expropriation,” and conferring standing on investors to sue in the event that their investment interests are impaired. This paper examines the agency of the state in promoting this self-binding regime of investment rules and its potential impact on domestic constitutional regimes. Of particular concern here are constitutional arrangements that protect property, such as that recently enacted in the Republic of South Africa, that deviate from the norms expressed in the transnational investment-rules regime.

Copyright © American Bar Foundation, 2000 

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